Fall Rush and the Cal Student Store have received complaints from UC Berkeley students in the last several days after not restocking enough Latinx and Chicanx serape graduation stoles.
Many Latinx and Chicanx students were dissatisfied when they were unable to find the stoles in either store as they planned for their upcoming graduations. Many noted not seeing them in stores or online since spring 2020.
After visiting and revisiting the stores in the last few months, campus senior Diana Cervantes made a post on the Overheard at UC Berkeley Facebook page expressing her dismay that the item was not available for purchase in stores or online.
Cervantes urged people to reach out to the stores and demand that they bring back the stole. Her post received more than 30 comments expressing similar struggles to find the stoles.
Christine Miller, Fall Rush store manager, said the store received more than 10 emails in the last few days regarding the stoles’ absence, in addition to people coming into the store to ask about them.
“They all came under the assumption that we were no longer carrying them, and that’s not the case,” Miller said. “The situation really is just that they were ordered late, and people are purchasing more grad gear than they normally would.”
Students are buying graduation gear sooner than usual this year, Miller added, because they are anticipating not being on campus for their commencement due to the spring semester being online.
Although the orders may have been delayed, Cervantes said it “still hit home” to see the stoles missing from the shelves. She added that it is typically harder for Latinx students to get into UC Berkeley, and many are first-generation college students. As a minority student, not seeing the stoles available reflected her frequent feelings of being “unseen” on campus.
“When I saw this mannequin with the Latinx stole and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t wait to graduate to finally get that,’ I felt represented,” Cervantes said. “To reach my senior year and notice that they’re not even ordering enough for everyone to get one — it feels sort of like they’re teasing you. I felt ridiculed and disrespected.”
Though the stoles are currently unavailable online while the Cal Student Store upgrades its sales system, they are available for sale in the physical store and available for curbside pickup, Cal Student Store director Trey Prewitt said in an email.
Fall Rush has placed a larger order of the stoles to be shipped by the end of next week, according to Miller, and they should be back on the shelves by the second week of November.